by Avinasha Shastry (~avishastry) on Monday, December 17, 2012

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Status: Confirmed
Section
Patterns

Session type
Discussion

Technical level
Intermediate

Objective

A discussion on improving the developer experience of consuming an API by making it as easy as possible to consume

Description

The web is becoming more and more interconnected thanks to APIs. Today, with the advent of frontend javascript frameworks for the web and native platforms for the mobile, the servers have become just API servers ; which is great.

The downside; every web/mobile app, now has an API. Many of them are poorly designed. Consuming even a well designed API takes a lot of developer's time. Most of them quit right after they see the documentation.

What can we do to make our API's easily consumable and help us build a developer community?

Building a REST based API is not enough any more. Consumption of an API must be abstracted the to a click of a button or a few lines of code. I want to share the techniques we used while

  1. designing an API for SupportBee which is a single page application (using backbone)
  2. building a hosted app platform on the designed API

We will have look at services like Zapier and IFTTT which are abstracting consumption of API's all over the web.

Speaker bio

I have been working with Ruby and Ruby on Rails for the last 3 years. I am the backend hacker at SupportBee since its blueprint days. I have been a part of designing its API from the scratch and its evolution into a app platform.